Thursday, September 8, 2016

Magic Number Drops to 23!

I'd say you call that a success!

Oh, sure. It would be nice to sweep every series. But, I'm certainly not going to expect it. Especially on the road in an NL park. But, I always say you need to win every series at home, and split them on the road...on average. So, the last couple series have been better than that. Sounds good to me.

Even better, the Sox find themselves all alone in first place by a whole game. This is especially nice considering they're on their way to Toronto. Assuming it's unrealistic to expect a sweep of a good club in their park, all the Sox need to to is win one of three to come back home in first place. That's a pretty comfortable place to be. If the Sox take the series, they can extend the lead. 

Things are starting to come together at a good time for the Sox. They'll have their full compliment of players at their disposal, and then some, on offense. No more trying to score runs with Papi on the bench replaced by a pitcher. The rotation is on a good stretch. That all builds off each other. Deep starts limits the wear and tear on the bullpen. If the 'pen isn't tired, they're more effective when they're needed. That means they can bail out a starter every now and then, instead of making matters worse.

Which is why getting Koji back is huge. If nothing else, he helps spread out the rest of the 'pen. Suddenly Ziegler doesn't have to pitch every eighth inning, and Taz doesn't need to be forced into every seventh. There are options. You can swap Koji in. Or Kelly. Or, Kimbrel doesn't need to come into every game if the situation really doesn't suit him. There are two other quality closers to turn to when needed. Options are good for everyone.

And they make baseball a lot more fun.

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